External Conversion Tracking

Instapage lets you track the visit to a Thank You page as a conversion so that you can still see conversions in our platform even if you are not using a native form. If you use a third-party embedded form on an Instapage page, you will receive the leads in your platform, but you will not see any conversions or leads in Instapage. By using the external page tracking option from this article, you can track conversions that happen that way as well. This method tracks a visit to an external page as a conversion attributed to the original landing page.

If you have an Experiment (A/B test) running on the landing page, external page conversion tracking will accurately attribute the conversions to the variation that the visitor has seen, just like regular on-page conversion tracking.

We have offered this tracking option for a long time now, but recently we had to change how it works and how you, as the user, are implementing it. You can find the article about the old method here: https://d.pr/mm2zdk 

The reasoning behind this change

As you might now, Google is phasing out third-party cookies in 2024, to reduce cross-site tracking and focus on more privacy-friendly alternatives. You can read more about their initiative here: https://developers.google.com/privacy-sandbox/blog/cookie-countdown-2023oct 

This impacts the functionality of third-party cookies everywhere and if they stop working, it means many of your conversions will no longer be tracked by our old External Conversion Tracking method. Read below to find out more about the new implementation as well as migration from the old method to the new one.

How our new tracking works

It still uses local storage in the browser, but only on the subdomain it is installed on - it does not use cross-domain local storage. The local storage it does use is for the purpose of avoiding double-tracking conversions and in case the user interrupts the visit to a page in the conversion chain but resumes it later.

In order to pass data from the original page to the next ones in the conversion funnel, it will append a parameter to the end of the URL that will carry data such as your Instapage pageversion, page ID and A/B variation ID. 

Implementing it on your pages

First, click the name of the landing page, then click on Conversion Goals and you should see something like this: 

external-tracking.png

The implementation process involves two crucial elements:

  • the URL where the conversion will happen
  • the script that needs to be added to the external pages

Both of them will need to be set up correctly in order for the tracking to work as intended!

1. The URL

As stated, the system will track a visit on the chosen URL as a conversion attributed to the Instapage landing page you are setting this up for. 

You can add a simple URL if you have a single destination for your prospects:

subdomain.example.com/conversion 

To cover more complex cases, you can use the character | to mean "or" and * to mean "any".
For example, if you want to include "all the subdomains of the example.com domain or the root domain" you would input:

*.example.com | example.com

The symbol is used as a separator, while * can be used in place of any part of the URL. 
If you want to include any of the subdirectories of a subdomain, you would input:

subdomain.example.com/*

To match patterns that end with thank-you, such as subdomain.example.com/campaign1/thank-you and subdomain.example.com/dir1/dir2/dir3/thank-you, you would input:

subdomain.example.com/*/thank-you

You can use | and * multiple times, as many times as necessary.

2. The script

Once you established the destination URLs, click on COPY SCRIPT and add it to the body of every webpage the visitor will pass through & the final page in the funnel. If they are Instapage landing pages, add the code to Javascript > Body. 

! Don't forget to click Save on the Conversion Goals window after copying the script. 

The script's mission is to keep track of the visitor throughout their journey from the landing page to the conversion page, and if it is not present on the in-between webpages, the conversion will not be counted. 

Important notes:

1. Due to third-party storage being phased out, the script will not be able to pass data if the domain changes between the redirects. To ensure that the data can pass in this case, we have implemented a a query parameter ip_et_ctx which will be passed along through the redirection automatically. However, important to note that this will only work with simple redirects from one domain to the other. We do not currently have a solution to accommodate all 3rd party forms, and therefore we do not support external embedded forms. If your setup includes an external form, please contact our Professional Service team and they can take a look at your setup and implement a custom solution, available to Convert customers.

2. If the old external tracking script and the new one are present at the same time, conversions will be counted twice. If you used our old script (article linked here: https://d.pr/mm2zdk) please make sure to remove it from the pages it has been added to before implementing the script from this guide!

3. The logic behind the URL pattern will be applied in about 6 minutes from the time you set the URL in the dedicated field. Please account for this when testing if the conversion tracking works.